Markel has reached an out of court agreement with two former CatCo executives to resolve claims for a total of $73.4 million for alleged “wrongful termination” of employment.
A company spokesperson said: “Markel Corporation has reached a mutually agreeable settlement with Alissa Fredricks, former Markel CATCo chief executive officer – Bermuda, to resolve the claims that Ms. Fredericks alleged in Massachusetts federal court, and agreed to a binding arbitration with Anthony Belisle, former Markel CATCo chief executive officer, to resolve the claims and counterclaims that Mr. Belisle and the company alleged in New Hampshire federal court.”
The case centred on the sudden departure of Belisle and Fredricks in January 2019 after an investigation into CatCo loss reserves revealed they were in an “undisclosed personal relationship”.
However, the former execs both filed separate claims in February 2019 alleging they had lost their jobs because of “the improper and unlawful actions of Markel, as well as its wholly owned subsidiary Markel CatCo and others acting at Markel’s behest”. This includes Skadden, the firm employed by Markel to conduct the internal review on its behalf.
Claims documents filed by Fredericks said that Markel and Skadden representatives “demanded that all employees, including the plaintiff, surrender their personal phones and other business and personal electronic devices” to be searched. The claimants believed they had no choice and handed over the devices “believing that the imaging on the personal cell phones would be limited to company accounts and would not be extended to personal communications” such as private messages on WhatsApp.
At the time, Markel said it had taken prompt action after it discovered Belisle and Fredricks had breached employment policies.
Commenting on the out of court agreement, Markel said the terms were “confidential”.
Markel, CatCo, CEOs, litigation, settlement, legal, agreement